Carbon Neutral in Quebec

The weather outside is turning cooler, and the same can be said for Hôtel du Vieux-Québec. This exquisite hotel features forty-five luxurious rooms and is conveniently located right in the heart of the old city. The hotel just recently announced that is becoming the first carbon-neutral hotel in the entire belle province.

The Hôtel du Vieux-Québec spent millions of dollars to make the alterations. Any areas where it was impossible to go green, they simply offset it. Rachel Dodds of Sustaining Tourism recommended they follow such a path. She says, "Buying offsets should be the last thing on their list after putting reduction in place." She adds that it is good practice to do all of that first, and then by an offset.

According to Hôtel du Vieux-Québec's Justin Keating, that is how they were able to make the green claim. It was not an easy task, especially when it came to the lighting. The hotel decided to go with the more expensive and atmospheric LED lights as opposed to the green alternatives, even though they were less costly. Keating is confident that as technology gets better and better, the price will eventually be cheaper.

When all is said and done, the Hôtel du Vieux-Québec spends just $2,000 per year, which is sent to developing countries for various renewable-energy projects, to offset the yearly footprint of about twenty-two tons of carbon. Many travellers are now able to rest easy with the knowledge that their travel dollars are being well spent through clean hands, in addition to providing a helping aid somewhere else.

The Hôtel du Vieux-Québec spent two million dollars on insulation to improve energy efficiency. Ten thousand dollars went to changing 75% of the lighting out for dimmable LED lights. The remaining lights are to be replaced once they have burned out. The laundry facility improvements, including new washing machines and eco-friendly washing products, cost more than nine thousand dollars.

Quebec CityAnother sixty thousand dollars went toward furniture that was built out of certified wood from Québec. The hotel also added a rooftop garden, which provides the hotel with herbs, vegetables and fresh flowers. Eco-friendly changes were also made in the bathrooms, including 100% recycled toilet tissue, toilets designed to conserve water, motion detectors to automatically turn off the lights when the rooms are unoccupied, low-flow shower heads as well as shampoo and soap dispensers.

The Hôtel du Vieux-Québec still has many more eco-friendly changes in store, including solar-powered hot water heaters atop the roof, green walls for the garden on the roof and a special keycard control system for each room that controls the air conditioning, heating and lighting. Come see all of these fantastic changes for yourself; rooms start at $126.

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